André Le Brun (1737-1811)
André Le Brun, who held the position of the ‘Chef Sculptor’ at the Warsaw court of King Stanisław August for almost 30 years, was one of the most prominent figures and one of the greatest artists of the Republic in the last three decades of the 18th century.
Born in 1737 in Paris, he studied at the local Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture (Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture) under the guidance of Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, and after receiving Prix de Rome in 1756, he was granted a scholarship at the French Academy in Rome. In 1768, he left Rome for Warsaw, employed by the Polish King as the ‘Chief Sculptor’ at his court, and until mid-1790s, he enjoyed a high standing in the artistic circles at the court. Being in charge of the sculpting workshop at the Royal Castle, he designed almost all works created in that atelier, which were carved in stone, modelled in stucco, and cast in bronze by his collaborators under his guidance. He travelled to Rome once again in the autumn of 1772, and remained there until early 1779, having spent almost 15 years in that city. During the last chapter of his life, he stayed in Saint Petersburg (1795–1803), and in Vilnius, where he died in 1811.